An Art Deco emerald necklace sold for $ 3.6 million was the star of the Sotheby’s auction in Geneva ♦ ︎
A record for Art Deco jewels and a record for antique jewels. The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction organized by Sotheby’s in Geneva ended with sales of over 42 million dollars. They found an owner 80% of the proposed pieces and 60% with prices higher than the starting estimate.
The star of the auction was an art deco necklace created in the 1930s for Hélène Beaumont (1894 – 1988), an American socialite friend of the Duchess of Windsor. The necklace of emeralds and diamonds was sold for 3.6 million dollars, more than double the price reached when it was first sold in auction in 1994. The series consists of a row of 11 Colombian emerald cabochons, of the total weight of over 75 carats, perfectly matched both in color and in proportions. These exceptional gemstones are combined with geometric diamonds in an Art Deco design. Although it is not signed, the jewel is attributed to Van Cleef & Arpels, as were many other pieces of his Beaumont collection. The central sections of emeralds and diamonds in the necklace can be detached and worn as bracelets.
Tonight we saw the enduring appeal of outstanding Art Deco jewellery. The Beaumont necklace is “the Chrysler building of jewellery”, instantly recognisable as an Art Deco masterpiece, and in my opinion, the greatest emerald and diamond necklace of the period. I had the privilege to sell it a quarter of a century ago and achieving this landmark result tonight is a further testament to its absolute and timeless beauty.
David Bennett, president of Sotheby’s Worldwide Jewelery
In addition to the Beaumont necklace, a Fabergé diamond tiara was sold for over $ 434,000 (the maximum was 300,000). The diadem was made for the marriage of the last Prussian hereditary princess, the duchess Cecilie von Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1886-1954), on the occasion of her marriage to the crown prince William (1882-1951), son of Kaiser Wilhelm II , in Berlin, in June 1905.
In addition to the Beaumont necklace, the auction saw the success of other Art Deco jewels. A set of earrings with Colombian emeralds with a cushion weight of 17.0 and 17.71 carats respectively in Art Deco style were sold for $ 972,934. and a Cartier bracelet from 1933, with coral and diamonds, doubled the pre-sale estimate to $ 148,918.